Month: July 2020

Shetland Knitting

Fair Isle jumper from Shetland Museum Knitwear Collection. Shetland label at neck. Tex 1990 – 541.

Over the past week, I have been looking at Shetland knitting after seeing some of the incredible items in one of my knitting magazines. I have done Fair Isle knitting in the past and do stranded knitting quite a lot, but I have never really gone the distance and made any Shetland garments. The blanket I am currently making is getting close to the end and I am doing the lace pattern edging now, so I thought I would look for something to make over the next few months, and a Shetland Kep seems in order. One that I have found that I really like is Uradale Fisherman’s Kep kit which I found at uradale.com site. It isn’t all that cheap, £42.40 including postage, in the kit you get a copy of the pattern and 6 balls of 25g each and 1 ball of 50g, a total of 200g of organic Shetland breeds wool. Not a massive amount for the money, but worth it as it is top quality wool which should knit up something special. If I get it, I will first try with other yarn to get used to the patterning again as I have not done Fair Isle for quite a bit and do not want to waste any of the good stuff.

Another project I quite fancy is home dying yarn. I have found a kit from UK Alpaca for £40.75 including postage. The kit contains 2 x 50g skeins of DK and 2 x 50g skeins of 4ply and of course, the dyes and full instructions. It looks like a lot of fun, and all I will need to do is find something that I can make with the skeins, I was thinking about socks, as that is the go-to for the 4ply, but the DK I am not too sure about at the moment.

Whilst on my Shetland journey I have also found a book that looks quite interesting and may give me an insight into the joys of Shetland knitting. It is suitably entitled “Shetland Wood Adventure Journal Volume 1”. Quite fitting I think for my latest adventures in knitting, and it has 6 patterns, recipes, walks and much more. £23.95 including postage. I am a sucker for a beautiful book on knitting and this one covers other topics that I love. Okay, so I have now ordered the book. I was writing this and thought, stuff it, I want the book. As I said, I cannot resist beautiful books. More on it when it arrives in the next week.

I look forward to showing some of the projects I will be embarking on, and if any of you have done any traditional Shetland knitting, please let me know, and as always, any handy tips and advice will always be welcome.

Topaz Blue Bear – Jack

Thought I would share some photos of Jack M’s dad’s dog. He is gorgeous, but I feel, starved of affection. He was great company for M whilst he was there. We will miss him loads, and were quite tempted to sneak him back with us, our girls would have loved him. His KC name is Topaz Blue Bear, in case you were wondering, and Jack is his pet name. Although we would have either called him Badger or Bear.

Jack
M & Jack
Me & Jack

Ireland – An End

M came back on Friday night, me and the girls could not wait to collect him from the airport. His flight was due to land at 6:50pm and the wheels hit the tarmac at 6:30. Luckily I was not too far and was there when the disabled assistance brought him out to me. We were both very glad to see each other. The dogs went mental licking and doing their hug things as they were in the car waiting.

M’s sister again did not offer to take him to the airport even though she was in the same house and had a hire car and quickly vanished to the room she was staying in half an hour before he left. I would say hiding in her shame, but she has no shame, just hiding as she just did not give a shit about her disabled younger brother. If hell exists there is a definitely a place for her. His dad was his usual cold self and when M left, his father let him struggle with his bag and when a few feet down the path he just closed the door behind M only leaving the dog to look out and watch M leave. M’s brother who lives 5 minutes walk never bothered, nor did any of the nieces and nephews who all live within 5 minutes walk. Cold callous bastards the lot of them. I guess birds of a feather really do stick together.

Now, you may think, what has M done to receive this type of treatment. Easy to answer, he is a decent human being, and that seems to be a problem with them all. Over the 21 years I have watched them stab each other in the back, fall out with each other, have fist fights with each other and exude general hate to each other. All of this M had no part and kept away from their arguments as it was nothing to do with him. M is polite, kind beyond normality to be honest, and nice to everyone, but this seems to have put him at a disadvantage. His dad is a homophobe, we accepted that a long time, and “puts up” with us when we have visited. He has taken advantage of M over the years by getting him to do so much for him, from purchase of laptops, phones, and much more to sorting out paperwork, policies etc., basically everything he could not do or could not be arsed doing/learning M did it for him. As mentioned, M’s brother lives a few minutes walk away, but does nothing, and M was guilted to do things. When lockdown started M bought loads of essentials from toilet paper to hand sanitiser, he bought lots and sent it over to his dad, to which he barely got thanks. M never complained and just went with the flow, so in answer to the question, he did nothing wrong. His family are dicks. If M was a back stabbing hater then he would have fit with them all and nothing would ever have been a problem. His siblings had a problem with him when he was young as he was good at school and ended up at the Grammar School, passed all his exams, and never go into trouble, unlike his siblings who were out petrol bombing, rioting and sleeping with everyone with a pulse, not to mention they were always out drinking.

Now M’s mum has been laid to rest he has decided that there is no reason to go back. I have to agree with him, and in all honesty, I never want to see any of his family again. Even if they all apologised to him and admitted they were wrong to treat him like that, I still would not go as I could not believe them.

Although a visit to them is off, I had been chatting to the priest via email and he has asked whenever we are next over there to let him know as he would love for us to go to dinner with him, which we will be happy to do. However, the visit will not be to see M’s family, it would be to visit his Mums grave and to have a holiday on the west coast with the dogs.

With that all, this is the end of that era. Time to move on and enjoy life without interference and hate.

Requiem Mass

M’s mum was buried today, and although I was not able to be there with him on this very sad day, I was able to watch the Requiem Mass live as the church broadcast it for those of us who could not be there. It was a lovely service and the priest made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes. M made me very proud of him as he did a reading of the letter from St Paul to the Romans.

M had let the priest know that I would be watching the mass, and welcomed me in name, said that I was M’s spouse and where I was watching from, which was really touching. He spoke about M’s mum and her life from when she was 15 years old right up to her last days with great fondness. He had married M’s brother and knew the family very well. Whilst talking about her, he said that she was someone who did not have hate or intolerance in her, and talked of her support for M when he finally came out, and the hurt and hate he received from the community and family, and that she stood by him. This was quite a nice dig at the rest of the family who is not supportive of him, and as you know from my other posts his family are not all that pleasant, to say the least. Whilst talking to everyone he told M’s sister she was selfish for leaving his mum and going to live in America, it was done in jest, but the message was there. He then said about M’s brother G that he was not the favourite which brought a few giggles as we all knew why. M was her favourite and he was her baby, and although the priest did not say this out loud the message was quite clear.

I wrote to the priest and thanked him for a lovely mass and told him of the joy and sadness that the service brought to me, and that when I met his mum back in 1999 she greeted me with warmth and embraced me as one of her own. I told him of her request that I look after her baby, which I promised I would, and will do to the end of my days and that she knew we were in love even back then. He had told M that next time we are both in Ireland to pop in and have a cup of tea with him as he wanted to meet me and welcome me properly. I told him in my email that I would visit him next time and that we were in the church only last week.

Why?

M’s dad’s sister and her family were there who are what we refer to as “the god squad”. She and her family hugged everyone apart from M. Now, I am not a religious person, far from it, and cannot believe that people who are “gods followers” treat him with disdain and ignorance and have the audacity to call themselves Christians, and obviously have not read their bible (Matthew 7:12 – see even I know that), or in truth like most manic Christians pick and choose what they want to follow in order to continue with their uneducated way of life. I could go on, but why waste time on hypocrites.

M’s sister has not bothered speaking to him since he got back which really says a lot about her and today she has been even more narcissistic than ever, trying to make the day about her. M has been sending me videos of the day and this evening and it is cringing to watch, especially now she is as drunk as a lord.

Angela 1938 – 2020

Sadly M’s mum passed away this morning just after 9am.

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived.

She will always be remembered in our hearts. Although she was not my mum, she was a mum to me for the 21 years I knew her. Goodnight dear lady x


She Walks in Beauty

By Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

I have no time…

… for fools and idiots. This last week has proved that to me, and I really cannot bear that people can be so shitty. The point, in fact, M’s sister (two-faced bitch) decided to start talking after her husband berated her about it, but only because of this. She has talked to me, and I have been bloody-minded and made conversation with her, forcing her into speaking to me. However, whenever M speaks to her, her first reaction is to say “what?”. She is partially deaf so she says and cannot hear people, but has no problem in understanding her husband or father, so I call bull shit on that one. Her words to M have been very few, and only when their father has been in the room. God forbid he sees the read her, not that he does not know what she is like as he fell out with her for a long time, saying he never wanted her at his funeral, and that under no circumstance does any of the family let her attend it when he dies. Now it is like nothing happened and they are so friendly it sickens me as once she goes back to LA he will have no good words about her.

M’s brother (town idiot) who lives spitting distance (3 minutes walk) away from his dad’s house where we are staying has not been seen, and the usual text excuse how he is so busy and the kids are playing up and “you know how it is” bull shit arrived within a day of us arriving. This happens every time we are here and never changes. Not that I am interested in him or his wife, quite frankly, their presence in this world offends me to the core. Many years ago they visited us in England and stayed at our home, only to start fighting with each other, and resulting in my pinning him by his throat to the wall telling him I will kick seven shades of shite out of him if he does not calm down and shut up. He realised that I meant every word and they both ended up crying in fear that I was about to go nuclear on him. He visited with M’s dad in 2017 and being an alcoholic showed his true colours again and could not go an hour without booze, which annoyed me, then he knocked over his beer on my new carpet and I could not stop my anger at him, calling him what he is and when he said he would clean it up I told him that he needed to go to bed now and get out of my way. Needless to say, he followed instructions and we did not see him until the next morning, where at 10am he opened a beer to sort him out. All in all, no love will ever be lost there.

Now, M’s dad is getting to see M’s mum every day and I am driving him to the home each day, but they still will not let M in to see his dying mother. M begged his dad to speak to the home manager as he only saw his mum 13 months ago and wanted to be able to say goodbye to her, as fitting a person who is at the end of their life. The bitch who runs the home keeps saying no, even though they have a letter saying that from Monday gone 2 visitors can see dying relatives for 40 minutes each day. She said that the letter was wrong, even though it is written by her and signed by her. So far M’s dad has done nothing what so ever, and gave the excuse that he did not want to rock the boat! What the actual fuck! All the other kids have seen her, so why is it different now? He is a spineless bastard and again I have no respect for him in not sorting this out. M is in pieces, and his dad who pays for the home is doing nothing, and stated he did not want anyone to “cause trouble”. He also said that he would not want them to take it out on his mum. Again, what that fuck? So by demanding that the immediate family see a dying woman as per end of life guidelines and regulations is going to “rock the boat”, more like “I am getting to see her and thats all that matters to me”.

All M’s nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews live around the corner too and only P and one of his daughters has made an effort to see M. Now, someone new to my blog may think “why can’t M go and see them?”, so to clear that up M is disabled and struggles walking, and if he needs the loo, none of them apart from his dad have a downstairs bathroom.

One thing that is pissing me off is that we have spent just over £300 on food and things for his dad and the others here in the house have spent about £15 collectively, and have been looking out for themselves. Now, we cannot and would not expect his dad to get groceries in for us all to eat, but it would have been nice if the rest of the house bought goods rather than eating their way through whatever they can morning noon and night. We bought his dad a new kettle as the old one was just that, old, and needed to be binned, go knows if it was safe, and M’s sister when she saw it, questioned why. We bought cleaning stuff too as the house isn’t clean at all, and god forbid that his sister cleaned anything, so M and I have cleaned everything, including the dog. The rest of the house has sat on their arses and done nothing, apart from making a mess and use the washing machine a million times a day for their own clothes. It is exasperating, to say the least. This trip has cost us just under £1,000 and has not been at all beneficial in any way, however, if M got to say goodbye to his mum, then it would have been worth it, and more.

So, homeward bound we are on Friday, and I am looking forward to seeing the dogs. I have had Jack as a distraction, who is lying at my feet as I type, and has become quite a fixture at my side, and I will miss him, but as for the rest of it, I will file it in the waste bin in my head.

One thing I wanted to do whilst I was here was read, and that has not really happened apart from a few pages of James McBride’s “Deacon King Kong” which is a great book, and I insist that all of you read it. It is part of Oprah’s Book Club and is quite funny and odd all at the same time. The reason why I have found it hard to read whilst being here is that people here are very loud, and I mean fog horn loud. No one knows how to speak in a normal tone and volume, everything seems to be shouted. M is the only one from here that is quiet. I ended up sitting in the back yard reading this afternoon, well trying, only to hear his sister chat crap loudly about her life in LA and then bash about in the kitchen sink with a cup and of course, put the washer on a spin with towels so it bounced about for another 15 minutes, all in all spoiling the peace and quiet I so longed for. Even the TV when it is on is at ear-splitting levels.

Deacon King Kong, by James McBride

So, that is it so far, expensive, loud, annoying, and frustrating!

Northern Ireland Visit

We are here again, but not on a pleasure trip. M’s mum is very ill, and it looks like she is at the end of her life. The nursing home had in the acute care team to see her and treat her, but in reality, this team is usually the end of life care team, just different words to describe them. It turns out that his mum has had a cardiac event in the past week or so, undetected by the home, water on the brain, and on top of her increased dementia and lack of eating or drinking for the past two weeks, it is only time before he will have to say goodbye to her.

One of the many problems is the home and their constant changing of the rules with regards to M, his siblings and his dad have been told they cannot see her, yet his sister could see her the other week, although through a window and having to sue PPE, which was ridiculous as the window was not open and the head said she could look through the window for 5 minutes and had a stopwatch going and after 5 minutes told her to go. This week his dad and brother were able to go into the home and sit with her for an hour. Next day, no one was allowed to go in, followed by the following day (yesterday) his dad was told he could see her for half an hour, but no one else can, and the same today, with the explicit instructions that he as to call first to arrange an appointment. M spoke to the head and was told that although he has only come from England and is within the safe-zone for travel she would not allow him to visit with his dad so he could say his goodbyes to her as she could go anytime. She knows we are staying with his dad, have had COVID-19 test and are clear, and his dad is part of our “bubble”, but no, she will not let him. I think this is really bad behaviour from the home. His brother is a painter and decorator and is in lots of peoples homes and was able to go in and see her, but M, who has not been out much at all cannot. His sister has come from LA and is also not allowed to see her, and they have both been told, not even through the window.

The woman is at the end of her life and the home have been given morphine and other things from the acute team to help her in her last days, but again, they said no, knowing that she could pass away any moment. There has not been any COVID-19 in the home or anywhere close, everyone here is clear but she keeps coming up with more excuses. The home has said things about the situation that we have checked with government guidelines and have found that they are wrong, but, due to what’s going on we have to tread carefully as they will stop all contact and that will be the end of that. It is criminal really that they are making it up as they go along.

Every one of us is sitting here waiting to find out what’s going on, but the home is keeping quiet and bullshitting us all. It has been suggested that her cardiac events that were not noted by the home could be considered negligence as they know her history as she has had three heart attacks prior to being there, also adding on to the fact they had not done anything about her not eating or drinking for close to a week.

This is Jack, he is M’s dad’s dog, a Roan Blue Cocker Spaniel. He is 7 months old and has become my shadow as I am constantly playing with him and his toys. His is very placid and playful but is mouthing quite a lot and when excited he clamps down quite hard, but all in all, he is adorable, and I would like to bring him home with us.

M and his sister do not get on, long story, and not for here as it is not my story to tell. Yesterday when we arrived M’s dad seemed happy to see us, but the sister decided to completely ignore us both and the atmosphere was terrible, so much so I was looking for an open hotel to book us into as I was not going to stay here. His dad seemed to be struggling with it all and thought it would all be okay, however, last night we heard her husband berating her, and to our surprise, this morning started talking to us, firstly by saying good morning to me, then a short conversation about getting stuff from the bakery to talking to M and having normal conversations. M’s dad seems a bit more settled now, which is the most important thing as this is his home.

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